Powered by Palladian Place Apartments, perfectly situated between your favorite kid-friendly spots in Durham and Chapel Hill

Sometimes winter in Durham can mean it’s a great day to head to one of the 68 parks in the area; sometimes winter feels like winter and sends us indoors. On those days, here’s what to do with the kiddos.

Photo: Nolia Coffee

Indoor Play

Notasium is an indoor music-based play space. There’s a climbing wall, interactive music exhibits, and a bounce house. Free wi-fi for you and a small coffee bar. Bonus: Get free open play with a trial music lesson using your Shop Durham card.

Southpoint Mall has a brand new indoor playground by Macy’s. It comes equipped with a playground, slide, and some features for the older kids. There’s also a separate area for pre-walkers.

Playarea at Southpoint Mall

The Museum of Life and Science is a great interactive science park on 84 acres. It includes a two-story science center, a large butterfly conservatory, and 60 species of live animals in its outdoor exhibits. The indoor space is large with a playground, giant building blocks, a wildlife exhibit, and more. If you’re local, look into getting a membership- it’s worth it!

Nolia Coffee Shop by Golden Belt Campus is a family-friendly space that includes healthy menu items, a play space for the kiddos, and great coffee, of course.

Wheels Fun Park has an indoor climbing gym, games, mini-golf, go-karts & a roller rink. 

Defy Gravity is a 13,000 sq. ft. trampoline park with wall-to-wall steel-frame trampolines including Angled Wall Trampolines, an expansive Olympic Foam Pit and one of the largest Trampoline Dodgeball cages in America. There is a kid jump time for kids 6 and under, $8/kid and parent jumps free- Monday-Friday 9am-12pm.

Photo: Locopops


It’s raining and you just want to get out of the house with your toddler before nap time. In comes storytime. Most Durham County Libraries branches offer storytime for babies, toddlers and families. These aren’t your traditional book-only storytimes, instead, they incorporate music, puppets, toys and learning throughout the session. 

Locopops offers a free storytime for all ages every Tuesday morning, 10:30-11 am. Grab coffee, pie, popsicles,and ice cream while you’re there.

Nolia Coffee Shop also offers free storytimes. Follow them on Instagram for times.

The Regulator Bookshop hosts a free Preschool Storytime every Wednesday morning at 10:15 am with Amy Godfrey. (For ages 2ish to 5ish)

Head to the Nasher Museum every second Thursday, 10:30 – 11:30 AM for Bilingual Storytime. The museum is also free to explore every Thursday. Also, check their calendar for free family days.


Durham Parks and Recreation has tons of great programs and class for kids of all ages to take advantage of. Like sewing, dance, tumbling, art, cooking and more. There are also workshops for teens and themed preschooler play days. 

Sarah P. Duke Gardens has a classroom with a variety of programs for kids and families. They have an open class in the learning laboratory for ages 3 and up on Tuesdays 1 pm-3 pm and other classes available like a free drop-in Nature Storytime for ages 3-5.

Art studio

The Scrap Exchange is a true treasure. They have a retail store, classes, an art gallery. Drop in and check out the Make n Take Room, make anything you want using the materials in the space, and take it home!


Depending on your kiddos’ ages there is a ton of cool history and museums to explore in Durham. Check out our guide to local museums here.

Visit the Duke Basketball Hall of Fame– Check out decades of Duke University’s athletic achievements showcased with visual and audio exhibits, theatre and trophies of national championships at the Duke Basketball Hall of Fame.

Duke Chapel is at the very center of the Duke University. You have to see its breathtaking beauty in person to truly appreciate it. Its doors are open for you to visit 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Walk over to the Brodhead Center afterward for lunch or dinner. It’s food court style with tons of great options. Not just for students!

Powered by Palladian Place

Perfectly situated between Chapel Hill and Durham, The Apartments at Palladian Place is close to everywhere you want to be. Take a weekend trip to Garrett Road Park, shop at The Streets at Southpoint, or grab a drink after work at West 94th St. Pub. 

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Katelyn Belch
Author: Katelyn Belch

Founder of Best of the Bull and Shop Durham. It’s my chief goal to keep you in the know about all things Durham.